Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Rajkummar Rao and Adarsh Gourav's Netflix film, The White Tiger, is all set for its much-awaited premiere today. However, hours before its release, an American producer named John Hart Jr alleged copyright violation. The producer approached the Delhi High Court to stay the release of the film. However, Justice C Hari Shankar dismissed the plea.
In an urgent hearing on Thursday evening, the court held that the producer and others were “no stranger” to the production and release of The White Tiger and they approached the High Court at the 'nth' hour even after knowing that the film is the making for over 1 and a half years. The court even said that postponing the film will have larger ramifications on the producers, directors and actors as finances are involved.
For the unversed, Hart had bought the copyright of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The White Tiger, from the author, Aravind Adiga, for a film adaptation in March 2009. The court was hearing an injunction suit filed by Hart and his associate Sonia Mudbhatkal, a filmmaker, who claimed that makers of The White Tiger film have infringed their copyright for which they paid a lot of money to Adiga.
Representing Hart and Mudbhatkal, senior counsel Kapil Sankha told the court that the former had thought of making a film like Slumdog Millionaire and he would be emotionally and financially shattered if the film is released. He further claimed that Hart, being in America, had no clue that The White Tiger is being made in India.
Appearing for producer of The White Tiger, Mukul Deora, Senior Advocate Sandeep Sethi claimed that that Mudbhatkal had sent a legal notice in October 2019, and raised objections to the film. However, a reply was given within a few days, he claimed.
Senior advocate Sai Rajagopal appeared for Netflix and told the court that no objection was raised by the plaintiffs even after the film released in the US before India. He also said that the makers had gone ahead only after one of the plaintiffs, Mudbhatkal, had signed an agreement with them.
The court kept the suit pending and told the makers of The White Tiger to maintain the account of profit. The case will be brought up before the registrar on March 22 to complete pleadings and paperwork.